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24 March 2011 Mobile medical image retrieval
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Images are an integral part of medical practice for diagnosis, treatment planning and teaching. Image retrieval has gained in importance mainly as a research domain over the past 20 years. Both textual and visual retrieval of images are essential. In the process of mobile devices becoming reliable and having a functionality equaling that of formerly desktop clients, mobile computing has gained ground and many applications have been explored. This creates a new field of mobile information search & access and in this context images can play an important role as they often allow understanding complex scenarios much quicker and easier than free text. Mobile information retrieval in general has skyrocketed over the past year with many new applications and tools being developed and all sorts of interfaces being adapted to mobile clients. This article describes constraints of an information retrieval system including visual and textual information retrieval from the medical literature of BioMedCentral and of the RSNA journals Radiology and Radiographics. Solutions for mobile data access with an example on an iPhone in a web-based environment are presented as iPhones are frequently used and the operating system is bound to become the most frequent smartphone operating system in 2011. A web-based scenario was chosen to allow for a use by other smart phone platforms such as Android as well. Constraints of small screens and navigation with touch screens are taken into account in the development of the application. A hybrid choice had to be taken to allow for taking pictures with the cell phone camera and upload them for visual similarity search as most producers of smart phones block this functionality to web applications. Mobile information access and in particular access to images can be surprisingly efficient and effective on smaller screens. Images can be read on screen much faster and relevance of documents can be identified quickly through the use of images contained in the text. Problems with the many, often incompatible mobile platforms were discovered and are listed in the text. Mobile information access is a quickly growing domain and the constraints of mobile access also need to be taken into account for image retrieval. The demonstrated access to the medical literature is most relevant as the medical literature and their images are clearly the largest knowledge source in the medical field.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Samuel Duc, Adrien Depeursinge, Ivan Eggel, and Henning Müller "Mobile medical image retrieval", Proc. SPIE 7967, Medical Imaging 2011: Advanced PACS-based Imaging Informatics and Therapeutic Applications, 79670G (24 March 2011);


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